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Law as a Contested Terrain under Authoritarianism

Law as a Contested Terrain under Authoritarianism CHING KWAN LEE University of California, Los Angeles Waikeung Tam. Legal Mobilization under Authoritarianism: The Case of Post-Colonial Hong Kong. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 234 pp. $95 (cloth). Rachel Stern. Environmental Litigation in China: A Study in Political Ambivalence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 310 pp. $99 (cloth). Two recent publications, one by Waikeung Tam (Lingnan University) and the other by Rachel Stern (UC Berkeley School of Law), offer refreshing views on law and social change under Chinese authoritarianism, a topic that has been marginalized by both the law and society and China studies literatures. After all, rule of law and state authoritarianism seem like oxymo- rons, especially in the People’s Republic of China, where the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution, the coun- try’s highest law. Yet in recent years, a number of studies have spotlighted how ordinary Chinese citizens take the Chinese legal system more seriously than scholars, and these citizens’ collective mobilization of the law has com- pelled us to rethink the relationship among law, society, and politics. The two newly published monographs discussed here, both of which grew out of doctoral dissertations written around the same time and addressing the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review University of Hawai'I Press

Law as a Contested Terrain under Authoritarianism

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University
ISSN
2158-9666
eISSN
2158-9674

Abstract

CHING KWAN LEE University of California, Los Angeles Waikeung Tam. Legal Mobilization under Authoritarianism: The Case of Post-Colonial Hong Kong. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 234 pp. $95 (cloth). Rachel Stern. Environmental Litigation in China: A Study in Political Ambivalence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 310 pp. $99 (cloth). Two recent publications, one by Waikeung Tam (Lingnan University) and the other by Rachel Stern (UC Berkeley School of Law), offer refreshing views on law and social change under Chinese authoritarianism, a topic that has been marginalized by both the law and society and China studies literatures. After all, rule of law and state authoritarianism seem like oxymo- rons, especially in the People’s Republic of China, where the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution, the coun- try’s highest law. Yet in recent years, a number of studies have spotlighted how ordinary Chinese citizens take the Chinese legal system more seriously than scholars, and these citizens’ collective mobilization of the law has com- pelled us to rethink the relationship among law, society, and politics. The two newly published monographs discussed here, both of which grew out of doctoral dissertations written around the same time and addressing the

Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 3, 2014

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